Demo contractor goes on trial in building collapse deaths

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 PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A small-time contractor has gone on trial for murder in the deaths of six people killed when a building being demolished collapsed on a Philadelphia thrift store.
 
A defense lawyer in opening statements Wednesday paints Griffin Campbell as a scapegoat in the June 2013 deaths. Lawyer William Hobson accuses the city of lax oversight of demolition work.
Investigators say Campbell left a towering brick wall unsupported before it crashed down on the store, burying shoppers and workers in rubble. They say he had removed support beams to sell them for salvage.
 
A subcontractor has pleaded guilty to six counts of involuntary manslaughter. The 51-year-odl Campbell has rejected the same offer and faces third-degree murder charges. 
 
The architect who accepted Campbell's cut-rate bid has been granted immunity for his testimony.
 
The trial is expected to last a month.
 
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